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Homer in the Twentieth CenturyBetween World Literature and the Western Canon$
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Barbara Graziosi and Emily Greenwood

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199298266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199298266.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Homer in the Twentieth Century

Barbara Graziosi

Emily Greenwood

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter outlines the thesis of the volume: that shifts in the academic study of Homeric epic were part of a much broader re-positioning of Homer in the cultural landscape of the 20th century, and that there is a fruitful dialogue to be had between Homeric scholarship and creative adaptations of Homeric epic. It points out that, for over two millennia, Homer had been the defining author of the Western literary canon and that, consequently, the suggestion that Homeric epic was similar to many, often oral, epic traditions from around the world proved to be explosive. They relate analogies between Homeric epic and, for example, epic traditions in the ancient Near East or modern Africa, to a larger shift away from narrow notions of the Western literary canon and towards a broader conception of world literature. The introduction also contains summaries of the individual chapters in the volume.

Keywords:   Homer, Homeric epic, comparative epic, Western canon, world literature

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